Archive for March, 2020

KCABJ Newsletter for March 2020
March 13, 2020

Coronavirus Effect

KCABJ members were excited and looking forward to traveling across Missouri for the Region II conference of the National Association of Black Journalists. However, the trip was sidelined because the March 13-14 event was canceled.

Blame the coronavirus and the precautions the national office took to keep the pandemic from spreading to NABJ members. NABJ President Dorothy Tucker, who was to attend the regional conference to have breakfast on March 14 with members wrote that NABJ regional conferences have been postponed perhaps until the fall.

The NABJ-NAHJ Convention on June 8-12 in Washington, D.C., however, is still set to take place. Tucker writes: “Those who have already paid for regional conferences will have their registration transferred when the conferences are rescheduled. For those preferring a refund, email Veronique Dodson at”

Because of the virus, which began about three months ago in Wuhan, China, and spread to 110 countries throughout the world, some NABJ members are reporting that they have been told to work remotely from home instead of going to their newsrooms. In addition because of closures on the University of Maryland campus, NABJ staff members are working offsite. To contact the staff of NABJ, please email Angela Holcomb, executive assistant, at She will route inquiries or requests to the appropriate department or staff member.


Here is more about the coronavirus from NABJ Executive Director Drew Berry:

“We will adjust our conference plans as developments dictate changes. Although there are competing viewpoints, as you may know, some health care officials say they expect a dramatic downward trend of coronavirus cases as the weather gets warmer consistent with the annual flu season. Others say it is too early to tell if warmer temperatures in July will result in a reduction in cases because not enough is known at this point about this strain of coronavirus.

“Either way, we are certainly going to comply with health officials and the hotel if they call for shutting down the facility and convention because of a high-risk threat to our members and guests. There is no sign of that action at this point.

“We will be taking precautions at our conference.  We will have multiple ‘sanitation stations’ throughout the facility. We will also insert hand sanitizers in all convention bags and include reminders from the health care industry on how to protect against such infections and how you can do your part to make sure these ailments are not spread. Although most people certainly know all of the prevention tips, it doesn’t hurt to remind everyone about these tips as they get excited during convention engagement. Of course, we strongly encourage anyone with the flu, flu-like symptoms, etc., to meet us at next year’s convention in Houston!

“The bottom line is at this point we fully expect to continue with our convention and conference activities. We are still trending toward record attendance. If anything changes, we will let you know. See you in D.C.!”

Meanwhile, to provide NABJ members and colleagues with more time to complete their submissions, in light of coronavirus coverage and related schedule changes, NABJ has extended the Salute to Excellence deadline to March 31 (midnight, ET).

All professional and student media organizations and individuals involved in print, broadcast, online journalism and other media-related platforms can nominate or submit via our portal link:

NABJ issued a statement last month on reported extremist activities against journalists of color. The Arizona Republic reported that the “FBI arrested four ‘racially motivated violent extremists’ from four states for delivering threats by mail to journalists and activists of color, as well as representatives of the Jewish community. Their actions are believed to be a part of the efforts of an online hate group or neo-Nazi extremist group.

“NABJ condemns any threats or extremist actions made against journalists of color and journalists of all races. No journalist should be placed in harm’s way for doing their job or because of their profession,” said NABJ President Dorothy Tucker. “We applaud the FBI in their efforts to bring these accused extremists to justice. NABJ encourages all members, fellow journalists and activists to take precautions and alert authorities immediately of suspicious activity or threats. If any journalists feel their work may result in threats or harmful activity from extremists or others, we recommend following the safety steps shared in the Security Guide published on the Committee to Protect Journalists website. Please contact authorities immediately if you are experiencing such issues.”

Tips from the Committee to Protect Journalists can be found here and include:

  • Alert authorities of any concerning activities.
  • Be aware of your surroundings.
  • Follow practical safety procedures such as varying travel routes, changing routines, and keeping home and office buildings locked and alarmed.
  • Be mindful of what you post on social media concerning your family, whereabouts, and location.
  • Consider the assistance of security experts.

The NABJ Elections Committee is accepting candidate declaration filings for the 2020-2021 NABJ Board of Directors. The filing deadline is 5 p.m. ET on Monday, March 30. The offices up for election this year are:


  • Vice President-Print
  • Treasurer
  • Parliamentarian
  • Region II Director
  • Region IV Director
  • Academic Representative
  • Media-Related Representative


Any member seeking a position on the NABJ Board of Directors, including incumbent candidates, must submit a declaration packet by Monday, March 30, 2020, at 5 p.m. ET HERE.

The declaration packet must include the following (in PDF format):


Voting will take place from June 1 through July 10 online and during the convention.

For more information, visit the NABJ Elections page. The Elections Committee urges members to run for office.

Please contact me or NABJ Elections liaison Veronique Dodson at, if you have questions.


News You Can Use

Here are some job and other opportunities from the NABJ Roundup Monthly Newsletter:


The Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH)  is seeking papers on its theme: “African Americans and the Vote.” The group is having its 105th Annual Meeting and Conference Sept. 23-27 in Montgomery, Ala. For more information go to

The deadline for the Society of Environmental Journalists’ Awards for Reporting on the Environment is April 1.  SEJ’s 19th annual Awards for Reporting on the Environment honor the best environmental journalism in 10 categories, bringing recognition to the most important stories on the planet. Prizes include $500 for first-place winners and $250 for second-place winners in all categories.

The Nina Mason Pulliam Award for the “best of the best” environmental reporting will award $10,000 to one entry selected from the first-place winners of SEJ’s Awards for Reporting on the Environment. The prize also includes travel, registration and hotel expenses (up to $2,500) for the winner, or representatives of the winning team, to attend SEJ’s annual conference Sept. 23-27 in Boise, Idaho, and be recognized at the awards presentation ceremony at a gala luncheon on Sept. 26. For more information, go to

All NABJ members are encouraged to join NABJ Task Forces. Contact the chairs listed below if you are interested in joining one or more of the following groups:

Arts and Entertainment Task Force

Contact: Kelley Carter, or Venton D. Blandin,

Media-Related Task Force

Contact: Terry Allen, or Pamela R. Purifoy,

Black Press Task Force

Contact: Tene Croom, or Othor Cain,

Broadcast Task Force

Contact: Alexis Rogers, or Brandon Pope,

Print Task Force

Contact: Johann Calhoun,

Digital Journalism Task Force

Contact: Tracie Powell, or Michael Grant,

Founders Task Force

Contact: Sandra Dawson Long Weaver, 

Global Journalism Task Force

Contact: Damaso Reyes, or Clarece Polke,

LGBTQ Task Force

Contact: Tre’vell Anderson, or Femi Redwood,

Political Journalism Task Force

Contact: Tia Mitchell,

Sports Journalism Task Force

Contact: A. Sherrod Blakely, 

Visual Task Force.

Contact: Jarrad Henderson,

Young Black Journalists Task Force

Contact: Chelsea Fuller, or Walter Smith-Randolph,

HBCU Task Force

Contact: Michael Grant, or Clarece Polke,

or Daarel Burnette II,

Freelance Task Force

Contact: Shanita Hubbard,

Business Task Force

Contact: Renita Young,





KCABJ Membership Application for 2020

Mail this application with your $35 ($25 for students) check or money order to KCABJ, P.O. Box 414014, Kansas City, Mo. 64141. It covers your annual membership dues. Membership entitles you to receive the KCABJ monthly newsletter on the KCABJ website at and emailed meeting notices.






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(Membership in KCABJ runs from January through December. Membership is subsidized by long-term KCABJ investments.)